The Knox County Health Department is continuing their plight to help local residents know how to spot misinformation when it comes to making health decisions.
In June, they’ll be focusing on misinformation during a disaster.
There’s so much misinformation already on the internet and in social media, but when you add in a public health threat, such as the Ebola or Zika outbreaks, or a natural disaster or even man-made crisis, misinformation can dramatically increase.
Once an event occurs there are usually many experts and agencies trying to determine exactly what happened and formulate a plan to respond. In this process, new information can come to light quickly as the event evolves.
Look for information from officials and other personnel related to the crisis. A good way to recognize authoritative sources is that they tend to speak in a neutral tone and offer balanced perspectives.
It’s important for the public to recognize that misinformation is likely to go viral on social media during events like this. Again, they need to look for those authoritative sources and avoid getting any information from those who do not have direct knowledge of the incident.
For more information visit KCHD’s Webidemic toolkit on combating misinformation at https://knoxcounty.org/health/webidemic